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Heathcote set for big day at Doomben

An emotion-charged double has put Robert Heathcote back in the Brisbane trainers premiership race and he hopes to capitalise with a big day at Doomben.

Heathcote had a double with Remembering Frank and Fortini at Eagle Farm on Wednesday to bring up his 40th winner of the season.

Heathcote led the premiership for the first quarter of the season but has had a lean two months.

“Things are starting to come right and I did get a bit emotional after the double because both horses are named after two great friends from the days I worked as a tour guide in Europe,” Heathcote said.

“Both men have died recently but it brought back some memories of wonderful times.”

Heathcote hopes it was an omen for a big Saturday when he will have good chances in Pinch River (Open Sprint), Jopa (Open Handicap), Pinch Passion (Two-Year-Old), Damn Fine (Three-Year-Old), and Silento (Benchmark 75).

Injury-prone Pinch River is the horse Heathcote is hoping can finally live up to his ability.

Heathcote has always had a big opinion of pinch River but has been continually frustrated by the gelding’s hoof problems.

The five-year-old has had 16 starts for five wins of which two have been when he was fresh.

“I have said before Pinch River reminded me of Buffering as a young horse. He obviously hasn’t gone on to be anywhere near Buff’s level,” Heathcote said.

“But we have never really seen the best of him. I have had to battle away with his hoof problems in the hope of getting him right.”

Pinch River will be having his first start since finishing sixth to Fell Swoop in the Group Two Victory Stakes last April when he tackles the Open Hcp (1050m).

“I haven’t been able to trial him but he has gone OK in some jump-outs,” Heathcote said.

“He has won three from three at distances around 1000 metres so here is hoping.”

Jopa is a Doomben specialist and Heathcote has again stuck with jockey Bridget Grylls.

“Bridget knows him well and the fact there was some rain around early in the week won’t hurt him,” Heathcote said.

He is hoping the step up to 1350m will help Pinch Passion live up to his potential.

Heathcote goes to the meeting on 40 metropolitan wins with Toby Edmonds on 44 and Tony Gollan on 51.

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